Vibrant Nairobi Visual Arts

Nairobi visual Arts are at times representative of Contemporary African Art. Although, there are other forms of art depending on the creators … their background and inclination.

The city boasts a huge production of visual arts. These include all forms of painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, photography, textile, installation, mixed media, digital, film and others.

Painting by Bertiers at Goethe Institut NairobiLooking At A Painting By Joseph 'Bertiers' Mbatia Exhibiting At The Goethe Institut Nairobi - Photo By Isaac Miriri

Nairobi Visual Artists 

The Nairobi art scene is growing with various artists producing works of art that differ in forms and purpose.

There’s a new generation of visual artists who’re really pushing the envelope in producing amazing artworks.

Some of the Nairobi artists are affiliated to one art center or organization. These have helped to shape the artists and the art productions in the Kenyan City.

Nairobi has some renowned artists who’ve excelled in their craft … and their artworks are sought after by collectors. Most of them are Kenyans and a few different nationalities.

There are some Nairobi artists who work from their private studios … and others who work from communal art centers or exclusive art collectives.

The artworks produced by these artists are available in commercial art galleries and agencies representing some of them.

A Glimpse of Artists in Nairobi

The list below is just a small representation of the many artists in Nairobi. 

  • Peterson Kamwathi
  • Thom Ogonga
  • Maggie Otieno
  • Shine Tani
  • Beatrice Wanjiku
  • Michael Musyoka
  • Syowia Kyambi
  • Fitsum Berhe
  • Abushariaa
  • Sam Hopkins
  • Allan Githuka
  • Patrick Mukabi
  • Paul Onditi
  • Peter Elungat
  • Timothy Brooke
  • James Muriuki
  • Michael Soi
  • Gakunju Kaigwa
  • Nadia Wamunyu
  • 'Bertiers' Mbatia
  • Sane Wadu
  • Elias Mungora
  • Ngene Mwaura
  • Morris Foit
  • Fredrick Abuga
  • Kevin Oduor
  • Cyrus Kabiru
  • Mary Collis
  • Dennis Muraguri
  • Joan Otieno
  • Mary Ogembo
  • Samuel Githui
  • Rahab Tani

Of the above artists ... some create paintings, sculptures, fine art photos, installations and other forms of art.

Lack of Early Art Education in Kenya

Kenya doesn’t have a system for learning art in school as art is not in the Kenyan school curriculum. This sometimes makes it hard to tap the vast arts talent available in the school going population.

Whereas Ugandans (our country neighbors) are exposed to the arts in kindergarten … Kenyans have to wait until high school for those who choose art as a subject or be lucky to attend one of the prestigious private primary or junior schools.

And for some … it’s either in university or Art College, and others ... ultimately being self-taught, or having a mentor.

There has been talk about change of the school system … if it happens then the new education system would have the arts incorporated from Kindergarten.

This will be a huge boon to the talent that goes to waste.

One of the current handicaps is the fact that the society is ignorant of the opportunities available within the arts industry.

Thus parents and guardians discourage their children from taking up art seriously – as careers or business opportunities.

Nevertheless the Nairobi visual arts thrives without showing any signs of let up.

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